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Is the next Call of Duty really going to be an open-world game?

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A leaker claims that Call of Duty Black Ops Gulf War might have open-world elements in its campaign, potentially taking the series into a brand new direction.

Activision hasn’t revealed much information regarding the next Call of Duty game. A combination of reports and leaked internal documents have painted a clear picture regarding what’s in store, including what era the game will take place in or what modes it will include. Now, leaks have revealed that the upcoming Black Ops campaign may feature an open world.

In addition to giving information on the open-world campaign for Black Ops Gulf War, the leaks also offer fans an idea of when they can expect the upcoming Call of Duty game to be released. Fans also have a broad estimate of the release date for 2026’s Call of Duty game.

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Will Call of Duty Black Ops Gulf War’s campaign have an open world?

Activision has not given any official information on Call of Duty Black Ops Gulf War’s campaign, but it will reportedly be an open-world game.

Tom Henderson of Insider Gaming reports that Gulf War’s campaign has been built from the ground up by Raven Software using brand-new assets. This is markedly different from the wholesale recycling of assets in 2023’s Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, which featured a handful of open-world missions. 

He states the single-player, open-world campaign will have players and their squad move across the map in a way that is “more akin to that of Far Cry than anything we’ve seen before in the Call of Duty universe.”

Players will reportedly have many ways to traverse the map, like being able to ride on vehicles or fast travel. The campaign will have some linear missions, although how many missions will stray from the open-world design is unknown.

This general approach to first-person shooters isn’t the norm for Call of Duty, but other major titles have done this effectively. Alongside Far Cry, series like Tom Clancy’s The Division have open-world gameplay as a defining element. The upcoming STALKER 2 has made a similar move.

Henderson also reported that future titles in the Call of Duty franchise after Gulf War will have an open-world campaign, with internal Call of Duty 2025 pitches including this concept. However, this might change since the title is still very early in development.

Call of Duty Black Ops Gulf War release date

Call of Duty Black Ops Gulf War will be released in October 2024, per reports. The game will be playable on the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S/X, and PC, although it’s unsure if a last-gen version will be released.

The Call of Duty series will seemingly continue the trend of releasing one game each year despite Activision being under the Microsoft umbrella now. As for Call of Duty 2025, codenamed Saturn, Henderson reports it’s 20 months away from release, meaning it should launch around October or November 2025.

While fans knew that upcoming games in the Call of Duty series would launch for the full $70 price on PlayStation consoles thanks to the agreement Microsoft signed with Sony, reports are surfacing saying that the series might skip coming to the Xbox Game Pass catalog. This decision might be part of Xbox’s potential strategy to go third-party with its games. Games that are proven or expected commercial blockbusters are also generally avoiding the service, with the developers of Baldur’s Gate 3 swearing off the service and titles like Elden Ring showing no signs of being added.

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Written by Hannan Mundia

Hannan Mundia has been playing video games since he was just three years old. He loves everything about gaming, from RPGs to first-person shooters. He has sunk countless hours into Bethesda's popular RPGs, but his favorite game remains Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. His writing has also been featured on Fandom Spot, and you can follow him on Twitter / X at @zombiezomz.

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